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1984 by George Orwell

1984 (original 1949; edition 1972)

by George Orwell, Amélie Audiberti (Traduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
55,7438718 (4.24)1578
Authors:George Orwell
Other authors:Amélie Audiberti (Traduction)
Info:Gallimard (1972), Poche, 438 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

1984 by George Orwell (1949)

  1. 801
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (nathanm, chrisharpe, MinaKelly, li33ieg, haraldo, Ludi_Ling, Morteana, Waldstein)
    li33ieg: 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451: 3 essential titles that remind us of the need to keep our individual souls pure.
    Ludi_Ling: Really, the one cannot be mentioned without the other. Actually, apart from the dystopian subject matter, they are very different stories, but serve as a great counterpoint to one another.
    Waldstein: It's essential to read Huxley's and Orwell's books together. Both present the ultimate version of the totalitarian state, but there the similarities end. While Orwell argues in favour of hate and fear, Huxley suggests that pleasure and drugs would be far more effective as controlling forces. Who was the more prescient prophet? That's what every reader should decide for his- or herself.… (more)
  2. 856
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (JGKC, haraldo)
  3. 706
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (readafew, hipdeep, Booksloth, rosylibrarian, moietmoi, haraldo, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    readafew: Both books are about keeping the people in control and ignorant.
    hipdeep: 1984 is scary like a horror movie. Fahrenheit 451 is scary like the news. So - do you want to see something really scary?
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A man's romance-inspired defiance of menacing, repressive governments in bleak futures are the themes of these compelling novels. Control of language and monitors that both broadcast to and spy on people are key motifs. Both are dramatic, haunting, and thought-provoking.… (more)
  4. 381
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret, Anonymous user)
  5. 361
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (citygirl, cflorente, wosret, norabelle414, readingwolverine)
  6. 261
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (hippietrail, BGP, soylentgreen23, roby72, timoroso, MEStaton, Anonymous user, Sylak)
    hippietrail: The original dystopian novel from which both Huxley and Orwell drew inspiration.
    timoroso: Zamyatin's "We" was not just a precursor of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" but the work Orwell took as a model for his own book.
    Sylak: A great influence in the writing of his own book.
  7. 3713
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (vegetarianflautist, avid_reader25)
  8. 224
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (readerbabe1984)
  9. 192
    V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: The world of V for Vendetta is very reminiscent of the world of 1984.
  10. 216
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (cflorente, readerbabe1984)
  11. 91
    Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (pyrocow)
  12. 80
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (BGP, ivan.frade)
    ivan.frade: Both books talk about revolution and the people, individual rights vs. common wellness. "darkness at noon" is pretty similar to 1984, without the especulation/science-fiction ingredient.
  13. 102
    Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (thebookpile)
  14. 81
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (andejons, Anonymous user)
    andejons: The totalitarian state works very similar in both books, but the control in Kallocain seems more plausible, which makes it more frightening.
  15. 92
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (infiniteletters, suzanney, JFDR)
    JFDR: 1984's Big Brother is Little Brother's namesake.
  16. 84
    Panopticon; or, The inspection-house by Jeremy Bentham (bertilak)
  17. 40
    The Archivist's Story by Travis Holland (catherinestead)
    catherinestead: Two very powerful stories of what happens when a very small cog in the machine of a dictatorship decides not to turn anymore.
  18. 30
    Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)
  19. 52
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (mrkatzer)
    mrkatzer: If 1984 were written today, and written for an audience of teenagers and people who care about teenagers, the result would be Feed.
  20. 30
    The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: If you read only one other dystopian SF story, make it this one.

(see all 57 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 804 (next | show all)
This is the most frightening book I have ever read. I probably feel this way because I am living through the first four weeks of the Donald Trump presidency in the United States. I see so many parallels in this book with the direction our new government is going that this book almost seems like nonfiction rather than the dystopic fiction it was meant to be. I am terrified that my country is becoming a dictatorship. This book gives an outline of just how such a situation can happen.

The story takes one man, Winston Smith, who longs for freedom of thought and shows how he is slowly deprived of his ability to think for himself because his life is under control of Big Brother.

"How does one man assert power over another, Winston?"
Winston thought. "By making him suffer," he said. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Feb 25, 2017 |
George Orwell's classic dystopian novel 1984 presents a harrowing totalitarian society, a world turned upside down, where "war is peace," "freedom is slavery," and "ignorance is strength." Orwell effectively describes this brutal nightmarish world, the techniques used to control reality, and crush the essential humanity in men and women; and the struggle of those who dare to think freely, maintain sanity, recognize truth - and resist. But it is Orwell's brilliantly nuanced details that provide the strikingly realistic substance within these broad strokes: sights, sounds, smells, textures, facial features (indeed the human sensory elements of this perpetually dehumanizing world); and fascinating insights into the hows and whys of the epic psychological duel: the manipulations required to control minds versus the mind-bending mental gymnastics necessary to counter the omnipotent forces.

This is essential reading, particularly in this age of "alternative facts" and the calculated blurring of reality in which fiction is taken for fact, the truth is denounced as fake news, and historical facts are altered to suit the current executive narrative. ( )
2 vote ghr4 | Feb 16, 2017 |
I think this book is better approached by an adult than a high school freshman. The philosophical undertones are much more difficult to relate to as a hopeful 14-year-old than a cynical adult. I’m glad I revisited this one.

You have three characters that really matter: Winston, Julia, and O’Brien. None of them are likable – Winston is the perfect vision of a disgruntled middle-aged man; Julia is a sex-crazed, flighty young woman; and O’Brien is a shadowy figure who is utterly deluded. While I don’t expect to like all the characters, it certainly helps to find at least one likable.

The story takes place in London, 1984. The flats have been turned into tenements and Oceania (there are three countries now – Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia) is constantly at war with… someone. Written in 1949, this story certainly gives a chill about what the world could look like 40 years in the future. With the exception of fashion choices (overalls) the world is described well enough to feel real, while leaving much to the reader’s imagination.

The dystopia element of the tale is where the book shines. A successful dystopia chooses one aspect – in this case, freedom – and threatens it to show what a future would look like if something changed this aspect. There is usually a disaster involved (war) and there is usually governmental interference (Big Brother). Winston starts as a traditional “my life sucks” kinda guy, but it’s not the first half of the story that I find impressive. It’s the second half, with the breaking of Winston. I won’t go into too much detail for those who haven’t read it, but the torture techniques are interesting (in a horrifying way) and the lack of happy ending is important. Far too many dystopias have happy endings, and that sort of defies the point.

I don’t mind Orwell’s writing style, which surprised me considering the genre and age of the book. A lot of older science fiction I personally find monotonous, but the balance of detail and directness was perfect and it didn’t drag too terribly. I think the length is perfect – if anything, it could be a little shorter. It feels a bit rushed in places, by retrospectively, I think that pacing works in the situations presented.

I still don’t love this book. I can’t get past how little I like Winston. And Julia. O’Brien is… alright, but overall I feel I need to love at least one character to love the book. I did find the philosophy of the book intriguing, especially with the current state of our country and the fear that’s running rampant… but this book didn’t live up to my expectations. I wanted it to feel revolutionary, but it felt like a small glimpse into a bigger, darker story. ( )
  Morteana | Feb 13, 2017 |
Love love love this book so much.
  hay16mc | Feb 13, 2017 |
Rory Gilmore Challenge Book - #1

Orwell's classic foretelling the world of a dehumanized society where thoughts are to be contained and controlled by a lessening vocabulary called Newspeak. Many quotable references, which I mistakenly highlighted in BLUE (never do that!). I just want to record that this book took me over a month to get through. The narrative wasn't difficult, nor was the plot line, but I just couldn't stay awake during long periods of time. Though I have to say I read this at exactly the most popular and relevant time in the 21st century, after Trump's election. Looking forward to continuing the Rory Gilmore challenge after a lighter hearted book or two. ( )
  missbrandysue | Feb 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 804 (next | show all)
In "1984," Orwell created a harrowing picture of a dystopia named Oceania, where the government insists on defining its own reality and where propaganda permeates the lives of people too distracted by rubbishy tabloids ("containing almost nothing except sport, crime and astrology") and sex-filled movies to care much about politics or history. ... Not surprisingly, "1984" has found a nervous readership in today’s “post-truth” era.
Londres, 1984: Winston Smith decide rebelarse ante un gobierno totalitario que controla cada uno de los movimientos de sus ciudadanos y castiga incluso a aquellos que delinquen con el pensamiento. Consciente de las terribles consecuencias que puede acarrear la disidencia, Winston se une a la ambigua Hermandad por mediación del líder O’'Brien. Paulatinamente, sin embargo, nuestro protagonista va comprendiendo que ni la Hermandad ni O'’Brien son lo que aparentan, y que la rebelión, al cabo, quizá sea un objetivo inalcanzable. Por su magnífico análisis del poder y de las relaciones y dependencias que crea en los individuos, 1984 es una de las novelas más inquietantes y atractivas de este siglo.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
Most novels about an imaginary world (e.g., Gulliver's Travels, Erewhon) have as their central character, or interpreter, a man who somehow strays out of the author's own times and finds himself in a world he never made. But Orwell, like Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, builds his nightmare of tomorrow on foundations that are firmly laid today. He needs no contemporary spokesman to explain and interpret — for the simple reason that any reader in 1949 can uneasily see his own shattered features in Winston Smith, can scent in the world of 1984 a stench that is already familiar.
added by Shortride | editTime (Jun 20, 1949)
"Nineteen Eighty-Four" is not impressive as a novel about particular human beings. Its account of life thirty-five years hence has little fanciful or gadgety interest. But as a prophecy and a warning it is superb. The ultimate degradation of a totalitarian sates is here portrayed with repulsive power.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Orville Prescott (pay site) (Jun 13, 1949)
It is probable that no other work of this generation has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fullness...the terrific, long crescendo and the quick decrescendo that George Orwell has made of this struggle for survival and the final extinction of a personality.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, Mark Schorer (pay site) (Jun 12, 1949)

» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orwell, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dean, MikeRetold bymain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Audiberti, AmélieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chiaruttini, AldoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davids, TinkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fromm, ErichAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacoby, MelissaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kool, Halbo C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pimlott, BenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pynchon, ThomasForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Talvitie, OivaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vos, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburton, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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1984 (1956IMDb)
1984 (2009IMDb)
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First words
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.
"Freedom is the freedom to know that two plus two make four."
Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
"In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two plus two might make five, but when one was designing a fun or an airplane they had to make four."
Last words
Disambiguation notice
"George 1984 Orwell" is a cataloging error for 1984 by George Orwell.
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Book description
Published in 1949, it is set in the eponymous year and focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. Orwell elaborates on how a massive oligarchial collectivist society such as the one described in Nineteen Eighty-Four would be able to repress any long-lived dissent. The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literature. Smith grows disillusioned with his meagre existence and so begins a rebellion against the system that leads to his arrest and torture.
Haiku summary
The hero battles
A government dance of words.
"++good, Comrade."


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451524934, Mass Market Paperback)

Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life--the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language--and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014118776X, 1405807040, 0141036141, 0141191201, 0143566490, 0141391707


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